Ok, so of course if push came to shove I could teach without these tools.....but I'd really rather not have to! ;)
1. Post-it notes- Is there no end to the wonders you can perform with these babies? I have a special softspot for those ones that come already concertina-ed? Do you know the ones? Those are awesome.
2. GAFE- Gosh, I don't want to be one of those educators who is the equivalent of a Crusaders supporter! (You know the ones.....who won't have a bad word said about their team and are so loyal to them that when anything goes wrong it is the ref's fault?) Those people exist in education too, don't they? They are so loyal to their chosen product that nothing else comes even close and they won't entertain the thought that something better might be out there. Like I said, I don't want to be like that but I feel like I just might be that person when it comes to GAFE! I just couldn't love google apps any more if I tried. GAFE should really just pay me for all the promotion and fangirling I do over their products!
3. Picture Books- There really is the perfect book for every learning experience. My current favourite is this.
This is just must-have if you do any iteration of passion-based learning such as Genius Hour, Passion Projects or 20% time.
I was going to use it for Passion Projects but have absolutely zilch self- control when it comes to sharing great books with my learners so I just couldn't wait a whole week and shared it for Leadership Week instead, the day it arrived. There's a reason why my word for 2015 was Patience. (Boring I know but I just couldn't shake it!)
4. Apple TV- Oh my goodness! I feel so grateful to have this in my classroom. This tiny little black box, costing a relatively meagre $149, enables my learners to share so easily with the whole class via a television, straight from their device. So many uses for this (DING! Blogpost idea) but my favourite is Student Led Conferences when the learners display their eportfolios through the apple tv. Seeing their pride and joy's hard work on a big screen does something funny to parents- its just lovely.
5. My PLN- After a move to Year 8 from Year 5, I joined Twitter because I was terrified and hoped it would help me find some answers to burning questions. It helped me more than I could ever have imagined; mostly to feel confident and trust my instincts about things I wanted to change in our classroom. I "met" some amazing people and took part in some incredible twitter chats and suddenly I was hooked. Now I couldn't be without twitter and my PLN and would be devastated if I was working in a school where Twitter isn't allowed. Blogger is another tool that connects me....and my learners to a huge learning network. My PLN also includes the amazing teachers I am lucky to work with and others who I connect with Face to Face over a coffee or wine .... when time allows!
I might be able to survive in a classroom without items 1-4......for a little while! But I know for sure, I would seriously struggle to do the best for my learners without my PLN and the ties that bind us, Twitter and Blogger.....and the occasional Sauvignon Blanc!
So, what tools do you love? Are there any tools you couldn't live without? I'd love to hear your recommendations.